As women, we have the God given ability to bring things into being. (Gen. 3:16) Birthing comes natural to us. We can plan, initiate, nurture and grow things in the natural and in the spiritual. We cannot afford to forget what it is possible to accomplish through the power of God working in and through us. We are not our own. (1 Cor. 6:19) We often forget that the struggle is just part of the process. In this season, I believe God will direct you and give you what you need to bring forth the plans, ideas and dreams you have had.
We go through many seasons as women. Ecclesiastes 3:1 (Niv) states, “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens”. As we go through each stage, and through each season, we experience life’s ups and downs. We make plans and map out our lives as best we can; however, there are times we experience the death of things around us and we feel hopeless and helpless to move forward. Pain and disappointment can make us feel as if we have nothing left to give and make us reluctant to nurture another dream or plan.
The book of Ruth has the story of two great women of God. Ruth’s story is inspiring and wonderful as it reveals our savior as our Kinsman-Redeemer. However, Naomi’s story is compelling as well. Naomi exemplifies a woman experiencing different seasons of life and unexpected outcomes. She is a woman who must adjust to radical circumstances and change in her life that sets her on a path alone. Nevertheless, with all of these changes, she is ultimately blessed as well as those around her.
Naomi’s life was very relatable. Many women can probably see themselves in her situation. As the story begins, Naomi, her husband, and her two sons were on the move to another country for better opportunity. Even though they were moving because of a famine, it must have been exciting to journey to a different land. The family was probably very hopeful that life would get better.
I can imagine Naomi looking forward to her sons marrying and their family expanding to include grandchildren. The bible goes on to say that the sons took wives in their new homeland. At this point, she probably believed they made a good choice to move to a new land. However, Naomi’s world was suddenly shattered by the death of her husband. She probably took solace in the fact that she had her boys even though her husband passed, but just as suddenly as the death of her husband, both of her sons died. Now, Naomi is truly broken, as the life that she built crumbled in a short period.
The loss of a spouse had to be crushing for her but to lose her sons also, was more than anyone could be expected to bear. In Ruth 1:20-21 (Niv), we see how Naomi feels about her life, she says, “I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty… The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.” Once a woman of dreams and expectation, Naomi’s situation has turned her into a woman of grief and sorrow. She has nothing. She has reached the end of her dream. At that time in history, to be a childless widow was devastating and she would have been at the mercy of strangers, as she was a foreigner in a new land. Naomi went from a woman of coveted status, with a husband and sons, to desperate and lonely in the span of a few years.
What Naomi did not realize was that she had not reached the end, because even when she thought she had nothing left, God was not finished with her. We, as women, have a unique ability. We have the ability to give birth. Each one of us has the capacity to birth over and over again, in the physical and in the spiritual. We know how to nurture something from the infant stage and bring it to maturity. When Naomi thought she was at the end of her birthing season and had nothing left to give, God’s plan was getting ready to unfold. She had a family connection that would bless both her and Ruth. Her job was not done. There was something she had to help birth in the life of another person. When she left Moab, the place of her devastating loss, she had no idea she was walking into a new season of life and promise. The loss of life or the end of your dream does not mean you are finished with your birthing process. That is what women do. We give life. We are built for it. Get ready to push. Whatever position you are in, get ready for birth. God has given you the ability and will continue to strengthen you…it’s birthing season.
Joan Hayden is the wife of Rev. L. Anthony Hayden, Pastor of Mt. Zion Christian Center and the proud mother of Jordan, Julia and Daniel. She is a graduate of Oral Roberts University. Her goal in life is to advance the kingdom of God. Joan currently serves as the Assistant Pastor of Mt. Zion Christian Center.